2012 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - SUVs

SUVs: Compact - MidSize - Luxury - All-Terrain

Volume sales of Sport Utility Vehicles in Canada are increasingly clustered around so-called Sport Cute models based on compact car platforms. These so-called Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUVs), possess a high seating position, good cargo capacity, and can carry four or five people comfortably.

The CUV format is moving into bigger and bigger vehicles. The Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Infiniti JX, Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Highlander all have three rows of seats and ample cargo space, if not necessarily at the same time. GM’s massive Acadia-Enclave-Traverse trio can seat up to eight and still haul some cargo as well.

Truck-based SUVs, once at the core of the market, have been pushed to the margins of the segment. The Jeep Wrangler, Nissan Pathfinder and the Toyota 4Runner are the last popularly-priced body-on-frame SUVs still available. Impressive towing capacity is the key advantage that the truck-based vehicles have over the more common CUVs.

There are a number of new models this year. The BMW X1 went on sale in middle of 2011; followed by the second-generation X3 in the fall of 2011. The fourth-generation Honda CR-V went on sale in early 2012, followed in the spring by the totally new Acura RDX, Ford Escape, Infinti JX and Mazda CX-5.

The Volkswagen Tiguan undergoes a minor makeover for the 2012 model year.

The Hyundai Santa Fe, Mitsubuishi Outlander and Toyota RAV4 are in their last year in their current forms, with all-new replacements due by the fall of 2012.

SUVs are usually taller and heavier than passenger cars, and weight will count in a crash with a lighter vehicle. The separate ladder frame on the few truck-based SUVs still available provides a stiff protection perimeter for an SUV’s occupants in a collision with a lighter vehicle, but will inflict a disproportionate amount of damage to any car it hits. Some CUVs, like the Acura MDX, contain clever engineering that brings the point of contact at the front of the vehicle down to passenger car height.

SUVs are registering better scores in crash tests than they did even a few years ago. The majority of vehicles in this category have attained Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Rollover protection, which keeps side-curtain airbags inflated longer in the event of a rollover accident, is common in this segement. Electronic stability control, which can reduce single vehicle accidents by correcting a skid, often before the driver knows the vehicle is losing control, is standard on all the vehicles covered in this section this year.

The proliferation of vehicles in this segment prompted us to break our reviews into four distinct categories (compact, mid-size, luxury and all-terrain) for Lemon-Aid 2012. Except for the All-Terrain trucks, which are quite capable in rugged conditions, the vehicles reviewed in this section are car-based and intended as daily-drivers for typical families.

A note about mileage: The APA's posted fuel economy figures for 2012 differ from those published by the Canada EnerGuide. For 2012, the APA is using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), numbers for fuel economy, as they better reflect real-world fuel economy. For more information, read APA President George Iny's article regarding the inadequacies of the Canada EnerGuide test cycle

 

Chevrolet Equinox  Hyundai Tucson  2013 Mazda CX-5  Subaru Forester 
2013 Ford Escape  Jeep Compass  Mazda CX-7  Suzuki Grand Vitara 
GMC  Terrain  Jeep Patriot  Mitsubishi Outlander  Toyota RAV4 
Honda CRV  Kia Sorento  Nissan Rogue  Volkswagen Tiguan 
Hyundai Santa Fe  Kia Sportage     

Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain

Specifications

ABOVE AVERAGE

 

 

 

What’s new
The 2.4L four-cylinder engine is now compatible with E85 ethanol fuel. Bluetooth is now standard equipment. A blind spot sector has been added to the door mirrors. Lane departure and collision warning systems are optional on V6 models. A back-up camera, independent of the navigation system, is now available. The standard radio on the Terrain and Equinox 1LT and higher tirm levels, features a seven-inch touch screen.

Comments
The 2.4L four furnishes adequate acceleration but can get raucous when working hard. Low fuel consumption on the highway. The brakes have a wooden pedal feel and lack initial bite. Small glazed area hinders outward visibility. Except for minor details like the logo on the steering wheel, the cabins of the Equinox and Terrain are essentially the same. The plethora of buttons needed to control the climate and audio systems could easily be replaced by a few knobs. The cabins contain a lot of hard plastic surfaces, but look good due to their matte finishes. Comfortable seats and plenty of passenger space upfront, and in the rear. The cargo bed is narrow and shallow below the window line, limiting cargo capacity. The Equinox and Terrain share no exterior panels, look quite different from one another, and attract different buyers. The Equinox sold about 22,000 units last year, nearly twice the number or Terrains registered in 2011.

Comments
Though the same inside and under the skin, GM's compact crossovers look quite different. Both nameplates look bigger than average for this class, with the Terrain appearing more substantial than the Equinox, which may be part of its appeal. Most of the examples of this platform are powered by GM's ubiquitous Ecotec 2.4L four, but a V6 is optional for those who want more power, or have towing needs. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. Properly equipped, the Equinox 2.4L can tow up to 680 kg (1500 lbs.), with the V6 having a maximum capacity of 1588 kg (3500 lbs.).

Pricing
All-wheel drive is a $1355 to $1780 option depending on the nameplate and model it is being added to. V6 power costs an additional $1750. The Terrain sells from $685 to $1950 more than the equivalent Equinox, which may account for higher Equinox sales. Poor incentives discourage leasing.

Reliability: Not rated, insufficient data on this recent model. Predicted weak points include premature brake wear and electronic sensor failures. A GM extended warranty is recommended if you plan to keep this vehicle for a long time. 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 (182 HP)*, 3L‑V6 (264 HP) combined) 

Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-2heel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11.8L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: n/a
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000

Country of Origin:  Canada 

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



 

2013 Ford Escape

Specifications

NEW

 

 

 

What’s new
An all-new Escape for North America is based on the second-generation Ford Kuga built in Europe.

Comments
In pursuit of its "One Ford" policy, the Blue oval brand is adopting the second-generation European-designed Kuga as its new Escape. Built on a 71 mm (2.8 inch), longer wheelbase, the new Focus-based wagon is 87 mm (3.4 inches), shorter, 33 mm (1.3 inches), wider and 41 mm (1.6 inches), lower than before. With a tiny slit grille and a massive lower air intake, the Escape's front end mimics those of the Fiesta and Focus. Though its flanks are a bit busy, the Escape is one of the most attractive vehicles in its class and makes a clear break with the previous Escape. This may bring new buyers into Ford showrooms, but risks alienating current Escape owners who liked the heavy-duty look of the previous Escape, and made it the best-selling vehicle in its segment. Like other European-designed Fords, the bold lines, unusual shapes, slick detailing, matte finishes and more soft-touch surfaces of the new Escape's cabin are massive improvements over the grim interior of its predecessor. The distracting MyFord Touch system is optional on the new Escape. The base 2.5L four returns, but the new U.S. fuel economy figures have killed off the V6 option in favour of 2 L turbo four producing 237 horsepower, only three less than the old 3L V6. A 1.6L turbo four cranks out similar power to the 2.5 L four, but with more torque. The sole transmission offered is a six-speed automatic. An "On demand" all-wheel drive system is optional. A hybrid version is not currently offered. Properly equipped, towing capacities for the Escape are (1500 lbs.) for the 2.5. (2000 lbs.), for the 1.6T and (3500 lbs.), for the 2.0T.

Pricing
Pricing is not yet available   

Reliability
New car, not rated. Except for the base 2.5L engine, all the mechanical units in the Escape are new and unproven. 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4 T  (173 HP)*, 2L‑4  T (237 HP),  2.5L-4 (168 HP) 

Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  n/a
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings:

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Not tested

Side: Not tested

Rollover: Not tested

Rear: Not tested

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Honda CR-V

Specifications

ABOVE AVERAGE

 

 

 

What’s new
A fourth-generation CR-V is powered by carry-over mechanical units. 

Comments
The fourth-generation CR-V went on sale in January of 2012. Built on the same wheelbase, the new CR-V is 25 mm (1 inch), shorter, the same width, and up to 36 mm (1.4 inches), lower than its predecessor. Honda traded the multi-layered frontal appearance of the last CR-V for a conventional grille resembling that of the Accord Crosstour. The side view has an interesting interplay of lines, with the third side window terminating in an arrow point, which is partially echoed in the side view of the vehicle. The rear end, with up to two unnecessary horizontal elements, is visually busy. The cabin design has clear gauges, logical controls, pleasant shapes and more attractive materials than last year. Room for passengers and cargo is ample. The handy 40/20/40 rear seat (allowing for two outboard passengers with long items, like skis, to rest between them), has been replaced by a less versatile 60/40 rear seat. The rear seats fold easily by using seat-mounted levers or toggles close to the tailgate. The cargo area is substantial, but versatility is reduced as the movable cargo level separator, a feature of the previous CR-V, has been eliminated. Except for an extra five horsepower, the engine and transmission are carried over from 2011. An ECON system that alters performance parameters to save fuel is activated by a dash-mounted button. According to Honda, the all-wheel drive system is all new, lighter, more efficient, with faster reactions to slip, as well as the ability to work at higher speeds if required. A new tech feature reads incoming texts though the audio system. Driven briefly, the CR-V's 2.4L four is strong, smooth and quiet, except at high revs, when it emits a stirring soundtrack. Imperceptible upshifts and crisp downshifts demonstrate that Honda's carefully-developed five-speed automatic transmission renders better real-life results than many makers get with six gears. Light, precise steering, strong brakes, stable handling and an absorbent ride round out the CR-V's on-road attributes. Road noise, a long-standing issue on Honda's, is too prevalent in the CR-V. Powerful heating and defrosting and quick-acting heated seats. Mediocre audio quality and poorly-conceived controls disappoint, even on the top-of-the-range Touring model. No towing capacity figures are available.

Pricing
Bluetooth, heated seats and a trip computer are standard on all models. All-wheel drive is priced at $2000. EX and EX-L trim upgrades are respectively exceptional and good value. The supplement demanded for the Touring package reflects the value of its additional contents. Excellent leasing terms.

Reliability: Predicted reliability is above average due to the carry over mechanical units. 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 (185 HP) 

Transmissions: 5A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: Tier 2 Bin 5

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  Canada, United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Hyundai Santa Fe

Specifications

ABOVE AVERAGE

 

 

 

What’s new
The Santa Fe gets restyled headlamps in its last year in its current form.

Performance
The 2.4L four is responsive in town but gets raucous and feels breathless when passing at highway speeds. The 3.5L V6 rivals Honda’s best V6s in power, smoothness, and stirring sounds. The six-speed automatic is well matched to the V6 engine, shifts smoothly, downshifts eagerly and has enough gears to furnish sprightly acceleration and serene high-speed cruising. Steering, braking and handling are all at or near the top of the class in this segment. The ride is a bit too jiggly, especially on V6 models. Allowing more ride absorbency would not seriously detract from the Santa Fe’s handling. Legroom is good front and rear, but tall drivers find the driiver’s seat has insufficient rearward travel. With a short bottom cushion and a bulging backrest, the front seats met with less than universal approval. The rear seat is well-placed and supportive. The cabin has clear instrumentation, logical controls, and good fit and finish. Exterior paint and panel fit are very well done. Cargo space is long, wide and very deep with the rear seat up, and generous with it folded. The Santa Fe is one of the best compact tall wagons available.

Comments
The entry-level model is powered by a 2.4L four. The four can be hooked up to a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic that is standard with the V6. Either engine can send power to the front wheels, or optionally, to all wheels via an “on-demand” system. Properly equipped, towing capacities for the Santa Fe are 907 kg (1995 lbs.) for the 2.4L and 1587 kg (3491 lbs.) for the larger 3.5L V6.

Pricing
Very expensive automatic transmission option on the 2.4GL model. Trim upgrades represent good value. The Santa Fe's overall performance places it in the top rank of compact SUVs, but it is priced a bit less than the comparable Toyota RAV4. Poor value leasing. 

Reliability
Above average reliability overall, however, the Santa Fe has generated some complaints (automatic transmission, quick-wearing rear brakes [they need to be disassembled and cleaned annually to prevent seizing], which are expensive to replace.


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 (175 HP), 3.5L:-V6 (276 HP)* 

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11.8L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: n/a
Warranty: 5/100,000

Country of Origin: United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Hyundai Tucson

Specifications

ABOVE AVERAGE

 

 

 

What’s new
Changes for 2012 include larger front brakes, a bigger fuel tank and standard heated seats on the GL.

Performance
Smooth, quiet and flexible 2.4L engine. The responsive six-speed automatic transmission shifts very well. Predictible handling with little roll. Harsh, unsettled ride. The Tucson's rear suspension slides easily on slippery pavement during low-speed maneuvers like taking a corner at an intersection. Nicely weighted steering and progressive brakes. Noisy at highway speeds. With clear gauges, logical controls, pleasing shapes and attractive materials, the Tucson’s cabin is quite chic. Interior space is ample for this segment. The front seats are comfortable despite short cushions. Very slow seat heaters. Cargo room is good but could be better with a more vertical tailgate.
Comments
Two four-cylinder engines, a 2L and a 2.4L, are available. Power reaches the front wheels (all-wheel drive is an option) via a six-speed automatic transmission in most cases, with a six-speed manual available on the front-wheel drive Tucson. Properly equipped, the towing capacity for the Tucson is 907 kg (1995 lbs.).   

Pricing
All-wheel drive, standard on the Limited, is a $2000 option on the GL and GLS trim levels. The base Tucson L with manual transmission is aggresively priced. At $2900, the automatic transmission on the L is witheringly expensive. Upgrading to the GL and LImited packages are excellent values. The price of the GLS package reflects the value of its contents. The Tucson Limited is priced only $1150 less than a Forester Limited, but doesn't have the Suburu's full time alll-wheel drive system, nor the Subaru's resale value. The Tucson is less spacioius and refined than other entry level SUV's available. Poor value leasing.
Reliability: Above average reliability predicted. 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (165 HP), 2.4L‑4 (176 HP)*

Transmissions: 5M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11.2L/100 km


ESC: Standard


Emissions ratings: n/a
Warranty: 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  South Korea

 

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot

Specifications

AVERAGE

 

 

 

What’s new
Recalibrated CVT for smoother launches and more seamless decelertion. Throttle pedal changes reduce revs at mid-range speeds.

Performance
The 2.4L furnishes adequate urge and is reasonably refined unless it is pushed really hard. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) works well as does its manual transmission mode. Freedom-Drive II (the more capable of the two optional all-wheel drive systems), maintains higher engine revs on the highway, increasing fuel consumption. Avoid the 2L four as it develops less power and is little more frugal than the 2.4L. Competent handling as a result of suspension improvements made for the 2011 model year. Absorbent ride. After several rounds of improvements, the steering is now precise and nicely weighted. Prominent road noise. Spongy brakes. Roomy cabin and cargo area. Comfortable seats. Good cabin fit and finish. The Compass was ranked last in an APA four hatchback vehicle comparison test.

Comments
Car-based sport-cutes dominate the tall wagon market in Canada, and these car-based Jeeps inhabit the heart of the market. Though they look different outside, these vehicles are identical under the skin. The Compass is all soft enveloping forms, whereas the Patriot displays traditional square-rigged Jeep styling cues. Power comes from either a 2L or a 2.4L fours also seen in other Chrysler vehicles. Transmission choices are a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Power goes to the front wheels, or optionally, to a part-time "on-demand" all-wheel drive system. The Freedom Drive II option makes these Jeeps “Trail Rated”. Combined sales of these models held steady last year. Properly equipped, the Compass and Patriot can tow up to 909 kg (2000 lbs.). 

Pricing
The Compass is priced from $400 (Limited), to $1000 (Sport/North), higher than an equivalent Patriot. All-wheel drive is a $2200 to $2300 option, depending on the model. The North packages are priced to reflect the value of its contents; the Limited upgrades are bargains.    

Reliability: Below average reliability. These vehicles age poorly. Complaints include premature suspension and brake compenent wear. Unproven CVT and all-wheel drive systems.  


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (158 HP), 2.4L‑4 (172 HP)* 

Transmissions: 5M*, CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 10.7L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: n/a
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Kia Sorento

Specifications

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What’s new
2.4L four-cylinder Sorentos gain direct injection and 16 horsepower. Manual transmission discontinued.

Comments
Fronted by a dashboard stocked with big, clear gauges and straightforward controls, the Sorento’s cabin is a paragon of conservative, tasteful design. Good cabin space and supportive seats. The Sorento's third-row seat option gives it an extra measure of utility compared to the Santa Fe it is based on. Two engines, a 2.4L four with 175 horsepower and a 276 horsepower 3.5L V6, are available. All Sorentos feature a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive offered with either engine. Driven briefly by the APA, the V6 in the Sorento furnishes swift, sonorous acceleration via a smooth and responsive automatic transmission. Some torque-steer on hard acceleration. The steering is reasonable precise and better weighted than that of the related Santa Fe. The brakes stop well despite spongy pedal feel. The Sorento's ride is firmer than it is in the related Hyundai Santa Fe, but never harsh. The navigation screen is practically illegible in bright sunlight. The overall performance of the Sorento and the Santa Fe place them in the top rank of compact SUVs, with the Sorento having a sportier feel than the Santa Fe. Sorento sales increased 50 percent in 2011, to 15,000 units. Properly equipped, the Sorento V6 can tow up to 1588 kg (3493 lbs.).
Pricing
The V6 costs an extra $2600 on the LX (but includes about $800 in additional features), or $2000 on the EX. Good value trim upgrades. The all-wheel drive system is priced at $1900. Acceptable lease terms.    

Reliability: Predicted reliability is above average, like that of the Santa Fe it is based on.


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3, 2/3/2

Engines:
2.4L‑4 (191 HP),  3.5L-V6 (276 HP)* 

Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  13.1L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: n/a
Warranty: 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Kia Sportage

Specifications

ABOVE AVERAGE

 

 

 

What’s new

Heated steering wheel was added to the SX/Navi trim. Rear spoiler and 18" alloys are included in the EX trim level for 2012. New SX/UVO variant. New shock absorbers on the LX model.

Comments
The Sportage (Kia’s spin on the Hyundai Tucson) is visually spare and elegant compared to the busy, pudgy Tucson. It is another triumph by Kia design chief Peter Schreyer, who styled the first Audi TT and all recent Kias. The cabin is fronted by a dashboard containing big, clear gauges, as well as too many buttons for minor controls. There are large amounts of matte-finished hard plastics in the cabin. Good space and comfort in the front and the rear. Ample cargo space which is better than it is in the Tucson due to the Sportage's more vertical tailgate. Power is from either a normally-aspirated 2.4L four or a 2L direct-injection turbo four with 260 horsepower. The 2.4L four delivers ample power to the road via a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. The Sportage is a pleasant car to drive despite a rough and noisy ride. Precise, nicely-weighted and communicative steering. Limited outward visibility. The turbo has a 1930s style fuel-saving free-wheeling system that disconnects the transmission from the drive system when not propelling the car. The base LX front-wheel drive model is offered with a six-speed manual transmission, all other variants feature a six-speed automatic. Sportage sales doubled in 2011, but the Tucson still outsold it two-to-one. Properly equipped, the Sportage can tow up to 907 kg (2000 lbs.).
Pricing
Expensive automatic transmission option on the LX model. All-wheel drive, standard on the EX Luxury and SX trim levels, is a $2500 option on the LX and EX models. Upgrading from the EX to the EX Luxury trim level represents very good value. The SX turbo is reasonably priced given the extra performance and features it contains. The Sportage's overall performance is similar to that of the Hyundai Tucson, but its firmer ride and crisper handling give a sportier feel than the Hyundai. Unimpressive lease terms.    

Reliability: Not rated, insufficient data. Predicted reliability is above average, like other recent Hyundais and Kias. 

 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 T (260 HP), 2.4L‑4 (176HP)*

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: n/a

Warranty: 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  South Korea

 

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



 

2013 Mazda CX-5

Specifications

NEW

 

 

 

What’s new
All-new Mazda-designed compact crossover that replaces the Ford-supplied Tribute.

Comments
With Ford and Mazda undergoing a slow divorce process, Mazda needed a home-grown replacement for the Ford-based Tribute. Based on the "Minagi" concept vehicle, the 2013 CX-5 went on sale early in 2012. The new vehicle, which follows Mazda's new KODO (Soul of Motion), styling theme, is slightly smaller, and a bit taller than its CX-7 showroom mate. Though a bit busy, the CX-5's exterior styling is contemporary. The cabin, with crisply-marked gauges, uncomplicated controls, attractive shapes and quality materials, is a pleasant place to spend time in. The CX-5 has comfortable seats, reasonable rear legroom and an ample, deep cargo. Power stems from the same SKYACTIV engine (2L, 155 horsepower), and choice of six-speed transmissions (automatic and manual), found in the Mazda 3. Hopefully, Mazda's wish to eke out every last bit of fuel economy out of the CX-5's powertrain to satisfy U.S. fuel economy regulations won't dull performance as it did with the Mazda 3. According to Mazda, the CX-5's SKYACTIVE system includes, in addition to the engine, a lighter structure and components to save on weight while maintaining performance and enhancing fuel efficiency. All-wheel drive, standard on the GT trim level, is optional on the GX and GS models. Properly equipped, the CX-5 can tow up to 907 kg (2000 lbs.).

Pricing
Standard on the GT, all-wheel drive is a $2000 option on the GX and GS trim levels. All trim upgrades and option packages represent exceptional value.   

Reliability: New car, insufficient data. Not rated. 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (155 HP) 

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:   9.4L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: Tier 2 Bin 5

Warranty: 3/80,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  Japan

 

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Not tested

Side: Not tested

Rollover: Not tested

Rear: Not tested

NHTSA Rating: 



 

Mazda CX-7

Specifications

AVERAGE

 

 

 

What’s new
No changes of note in its last year on the market

Performance
The base 2.5L four delivers good performance in town and only feels winded when passing at highway speeds. The 2.5L is roughly 25 percent more fuel efficient than the turbo. The CX-7’s 2.3L four exhibits some turbo lag but most owners will only notice the swift, sure response the engine delivers at suburban and highway speeds. The engine works well in conjunction with the six-speed automatic. If the engine has a failing, it is that it sounds very pedestrian. The turbo delivers V6 power, but also V6 fuel economy. Ride, handling, steering and brakes are all very good. The CX-7 is a splendid open-road touring car. The front seats are substantial and supportive, and while the rear seat cushion looks a bit low, adults find the rear seat comfortable over large distances. Good air conditioning. The sloping rear tailgate diminishes cargo capacity somewhat, but room is still substantial.

Comments
The front-wheel drive 2.5L CX-7 base model hooks up exclusively to a five-speed automatic transmission. The turbo four sends its power to all wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Properly equipped, the CX-7 2.5L can tow up to 680 kg (1496 lbs.), while the 2.3L turbo can tow up to 907 kg (1995 lbs.).

Pricing
The Luxury packages and upgrading from the GS to the GT trim levels all represent very good value. With leather seats and a sunroof, the Luxury package-equipped 2.5L GX is a chic vehicle for the money. The CX-7 offers the space, luxury and features of a premium brand at a mainstream price.      

Reliability: Below average. Mediocre overall reliability for turbo models. Complaints have been received regarding the air-conditioner, turbocharger and the electronic engine management system. Only one winter tire size (215//70R17), fits the CX-7 GX. 


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.3L-4 T (244 HP), 2.5L‑4 (161 HP)*

Transmissions: 5A, 6A
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  11.4L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: Tier 2 Bin 5

Warranty: 3/80,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  Japan

 

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Marginal

Rear: Marginal

NHTSA Rating: 



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